YOU can’t win sometimes in sport – and the World Club Challenge is an example of that.

When English teams – including Saints twice – won seven of the first 10 encounters of the new century they were always shrouded with the classic put down that the Australians could not be taking it seriously.

After all, those results went against the grain and overturned the established world rugby league pecking order.

That school of thought makes a completely sweeping generalisation of each club’s individual preparation for those games and their super-human collective effort from some clubs to take out the top prize.

It is an insult to the Saints class of 2001, who produced that hailstone-assisted monumental effort to rally from a 18-6 deficit against Brisbane to take the crown for the first time. And then here were again in 2007 when Paul Sculthorpe came off the bench to produce his Roy of the Rovers effort to inspire another famous victory over the Broncos.

The last decade the boot has been on the other foot, with the NRL premiers winning eight out of 10 – a period that has coincided with the significant strengthening of the Australian competition.

You listen to some naysayers, and the argument has flipped to the point that English teams are turning up in hope rather than expectation, with a home shellacking being the expected outcome.

Neither of those schools of thoughts should take away from what should be the biggest game in club rugby league.

The very fact that people in Wigan still talk about that night in Wigan in 1987, Widnesians – for all their travails – will constantly have the green jerseys of Canberra Raiders marked permanently on their retinas and every Saints fan who was at Bolton that night (the first one) will remember Joynty taking Paul Newlove’s pass and striding over the line.

Don’t tell me Broncos' Gorden Tallis was taking defeat well when he thundered into the Saints skipper’s back as he touched down.

And that is why more should be made of this game.

The huge potential of this fixture was first revealed that night at Central Park in 1987 when Wigan threw down a £20,000 winner-takes all prize to challenge Australian champs Manly-Warringhah.

Wigan were undoubted top dogs in England at the time – winning trophies for fun and buying every top player at the drop of a hat. As a result there were plenty of neutrals from St Helens joining the 38,000 crammed into the creaking old stadium and shouting for the Sea Eagles.

It was tantamount to going 12,000 miles to bring over a long-lost cousin to bring our neighbourhood school bully a bloody nose.

It didn’t work out like that. Wigan – fronted by a certain Shaun Wane - produced as gutsy a performance as you would see to win a nip and tuck encounter against a 12-man Manly side who had lost Ron Gibbs for flattening Joe Lydon.

This game has real things to stir memories – that is why we need to guarantee its place on the rugby league schedule.

It does not need the add-on frills like occurred with the confusing World Series for a couple of years back.

But the one change that should be made is the scheduling of it. The clash of the hemispheres should be played at the end of the season a fortnight after the Grand Final - when both teams have the players that have won their domestic competition and are coming into it with the same momentum.